July 14, 2009
Mike Warkentin reports that a Finnish firefighter and a Pennsylvania phys. ed. teacher are the Fittest Man and Fittest Woman in the world.
Mikko Salo and Tanya Wagner are the 2009 CrossFit Games champions.
Both athletes showed an incredible amount of skill and tenacity during the two-day event that included virtually every CrossFit movement. Muscle-ups, double-unders, handstand push-ups, Olympic lifts and a vicious trail run were but a few of the challenges the athletes faced, and Salo and Wagner proved they were the class of an elite international field.
“I’m happy. I’m really happy now,” Salo said after his win. “It has been a very, very hard couple of days.”
Tommy Hackenbruck, who got to the Games via the Last Chance Qualifier, was second, and Moe Kelsey was third.
On the female side, Tanya Wagner of Pennsylvania improved on her second-place finish last year by taking the 2009 crown. Wagner claimed the overall title with a consistent performance across the board. All told, Wagner only finished out of the top 10 in one event.
“This is a dream,” she said. “Last year was so awesome, but it was a different feeling than it is this year. This year is just awesome.”
Charity Vale finished second, and Carey Kepler was third.
At the ceremony after the competition, Jolie Gentry was given the Military/LEO Award, and Jason Khalipa was given the Spirit of the Games Award after finishing almost last in the run but then clawing his way back to fifth. Aside from his poor placing in the first WOD, Khalipa placed first in two events and finished second in the last three.